Australia Approves First Request to Use Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 12, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Approves First Request to Use Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 12, 2006

Canberra, Australia ( — A federal agency that the Australian parliament granted oversight regarding the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 has approved an abortion practitioner’s request to use the dangerous drug. The approval marks the first time in the abortion drug will be used in the island nation.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the request from Caroline de Costa, a Cairns abortion practitioner, to import and prescribe the drug for abortions.

The drug is not yet registered for sale and will be allowed only under certain conditions, but the approval adds Australia to the list of nations where the dangerous drug is in use.

The abortion pill has been responsible for the deaths of nine women worldwide and injuring more than 850 women in the United States alone. Pro-life groups tried but failed in stopping the Australian parliament from allowing the TGA to approve the drug, stripping pro-life Health Minister Tony Abbott of his regulatory powers.

The Australian newspaper reports that the abortion pill will be sold for about $16 and will be available to women in Queensland, a state in the northern part of the country.

De Costa is not the only abortion practitioner to have submitted an application to be able to dispense the drugs. Other requests are pending with the TGA and they will likely be approved — making the abortion drug more available throughout the country.

In a statement, de Costa thanked the TGA and said the abortion drug would only be used in situations when "the life or health of the mother is seriously threatened by continuation of the pregnancy."

However, the abortion drug itself has threatened the life of the mother, with women dying from it in the United States, Canada, England, and Sweden.

In addition to the deaths, 513 women required surgical intervention after the abortion drug failed. Two hundred thirty-seven of these involved hemorrhaging; sixty-eight of these required blood transfusions and 42 of these cases were listed as "life threatening."

TGA spokeswoman Kay McNiece told The Australian that de Costa "must use the drug under very strict guidelines, including monitoring by the Cairns hospital ethical committee, which must report back to the TGA every six months."

The abortion practitioner will not be allowed to supply the Mifepristone drug to any other doctors or medical facilities.